After close to a month of not taking bird photos, I finally got my crusher back. Cautiously optimistic that everything was fine, I lurked out to Lake Merritt to see if I had the capacity of damage infliction that I was hoping for. My first targets were Canvasbacks...
Very quickly I found that any worries I had were unfounded. It's good to be back in business. Here's a hen Canvasback modeling her Economy of Style.
Black-crowned Night-Herons at the lake are always eager for attention. When observing birds, it's important to be able to see how far their eyeballs protrude from their sockets.
An adult Glaucous-winged Gull was equally obliging. Orbital ring color is a very helpful field mark for adult gull ID; Glaucous-wings use pink eyeliner.
Glaucous wings. Frosty.
This adult Thayer's Gull was also hanging around, behaving somewhat meekly.
Who needs sunlight for a good photo? This is by far my favorite shot of Thayer's that I have. Note the pale inner primaries.
The most recent addition to my small collection of second-cycle Thayer's photos. Note the dark (not black) primaries with pale tips, and small bill. Interesting to me, it attempted some half-assed begging for food aimed at the adult bird above. It didn't work.
Looking into the eye of an Eared Grebe is always a captivating, albeit confusing experience.
A Glaucous-winged X Herring hybrid achieves maximum bellow. I wouldn't want to be the piece of garbage inhaled into this bird's gaping maw.
I think this crush captures the essence of what Western Gulls are all about. It had just finished bludgeoning a shellfish.